Thursday, December 28, 2006

Shopping service

After our unsuccessful attempt to go shopping on Boxing Day, we tried again on the 27th with a good deal more success. We went to Tescos one of the major supermarket chains in the UK. It was another 24 hour one, but not the one from Boxing Day. I find the definition of "open 24 hours" a bit amusing. They are open 24 hours a day, as long as you want to go shopping from 8am Monday to 10pm Saturday. They are open Saturday and Sunday, but not nights. To me, open 24 hours would mean 7 days a week. I'm glad that I found this out before trying some late Saturday evening. Still they are open longer than most places.

Anyways, I was quite impressed with it, right from the approach. The parking lot doesn't just have disabled parking, but it has parent and tot parking. This is so that parents with small children don't have to slog across the entire lot with groceries and child(ren); they can park close to the entrance exit. I had seen this before, but this Tescos had more than just a token one or two spaces, there were several there. And the best thing, they have an extra meter or so of space between each spot, so you have room to manoeuvre a shopping cart or a stroller beside the car. Also enough room to actually open the door and pull out the baby and car seat without having to resort to yoga-like contortions.

We didn't park there because it was full, but just past it. Next nice thing was - the aisles of parking have a space between them to walk down. So instead of being nose to nose with the next row of cars, there are posts to keep them spaced and a big roomy walking area between. Also much nicer than trying to dodge reversing cars, puddles and so on.

Once we got to the front of the shop, we had a choice of about 5 different types of shopping trolleys. They had the ones shaped like cars for toddlers to ride around in while mom and dad put the groceries in the top section. They had regular trolleys, plus shallower versions of the same for those who don't fill a huge one when buying a week's worth of groceries. Save your back, not having to bend down so low for a few items. Then they had the trolleys with the built-in baby seats. We were considering transferring Lena from her car seat to one of these when we shown another type of trolley by one of the employees. It had a big tray on top, where you could rest the car seat, plus a seat belt to keep it securely in place. I wish I could find a picture to show you what I mean but the Internet seems to be empty of trolley spotters taking pictures of the different types.

I know it might seem silly to be so pleased about a parking space and a shopping trolley, but having spent many years living in a country where I'd be sometimes lucky to find a basket to use to shop with and every trolley demanded a deposit before it could be taken anywhere, it was a nice change.


Anonymous said...

Well, it's nice to see you're getting settled in. Sounds funny to hear you calling 'trollies' what we call 'shopping carts' on this side of the pond. The walking lanes between the cars sounds good too.

Love Mom

Anonymous said...

Just been catching up on your Blog following the wonderful news.

Very amused to read this piece about Tesco and their trollies/parking. Supermarkets now have more and more spaces reserved for both disabled and parent/child vehicles, so much so that they seem to dominate the parking areas closest to the entrance. As a result, I feel a revolt on the way as those possessed of working limbs and devoid of pesky kids start to feel marginalised. Keep a note of how many white vans and performance sports cars you see in the reserved bays, or how often a car is parked with a "getaway" driver ready to exit at the first sign of a parking official.

Congrats on the safe delivery of Lena, hope to see you soon.

Brian H

Anonymous said...

I don't remember making the comment signed Brian h so it must be another Brian h. Anyhow we are very happy with what we seeof lens and really enjoy reading your stories. It's good to see you dressed Lena for her first outing amongst friends. I hope you took a photo of her.
Brian H and M H

ZeeBride said...

It's true, there are 2 Brian H's.
As for able bodies parking in the reserved spots, that's nothing new and although I understnd well the feelings of marginalisation, having been one of the able-bodied for many years. However, look at it from the store's point of view - families spend more money on groceries than others, so it's in their interest to cater to them. Perhaps the computer and stereo shops should have preferential parking for single men right near the front entrance. ;-)